AUSTIN – Local sources confirmed today that, following his virtual reality experience at the SXSW Gaming Expo, local entrepreneur and aging bachelor Raul Garza has decided to invest aggressively and generously in the development of adult-oriented dating simulations for the Oculus Rift.
"I still come to SXSW every now and then, but it's always been for the music and comedy," said the thrice-divorced, 58 year-old insurance company executive. "But this time I ended up in Austin a couple days early and there was this game expo thing going on, so I figure… eh, why not? I got time to kill."
Although a native of Texas, Garza relocated to Miami in 1996 with then-wife Marisol, who describes her ex-husband as both controlling and inattentive.
"First off, I get there and – let me tell you – there are a ton of babes, in costumes, all over that place! I was not expecting that. I got like a million pictures."
"Anyway, I'm wandering around, and I spot this Game of Thrones booth. I happen to be a big fan of the show, so I check it out, and they got this thing, like ski goggles with headphones, that's supposed to make you feel like you're riding up the elevator to The Wall… like on the show."
The Oculus Rift, a prototype 3D virtual reality headset, pairs high-definition, 360° stereoscopic views together with noise-canceling headphones to fully immerse users in a virtual experience. Debuting on Kickstarter in August 2012, it quickly fundraised $2.4 million for initial development. The product is now backed by over $75 million in venture capital.
"I mean, virtual reality, right? Everybody knows what that's supposed to be, but I'm thinking it'll be like those rides at Disneyland, you know? But I wait in line anyway because, whatever, maybe I'll get to see the state of the art."
Currently sold as a development kit, making content for the platform has already attracted Valve, Mojang (makers of Minecraft), and others who are creating original virtual reality experiences.
"So, I put the thing on and… whoa. I mean, with the sounds and the way you can move your head around, it really had me going. My stomach dropped and everything," recounted Garza, gesticulating as reenacted his movements from the simulated elevator ride.
"As soon as it was over though, I couldn't stop thinking… you know what this thing would be really great for?"
Back at his hotel room, Garza found that several adult-themed dating simulations were already under development.
"I see that people are already working on this but, from what I've seen, they need improvements. However, I'm ready to go big in supporting these efforts," declared the man whose last marriage collapsed ingloriously after 13 months. "I've worked hard and made good money, and now I'm almost 60 and divorced, you know?"
"I've seen the future. I'm not getting married again."
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